Things to do for Outdoor Enthusiasts in Istanbul 

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  • 1

    The Bosphorus Strait

    29 reviews

    The Bosphorus strait is what forms part of the boundary between Europe and Asia in Istanbul. The strait is not only a source of tourism and commerce, but a wonderful place to spend your days. The banks of Bosphorus are lively with vendors, cruise operators and an array of restaurants providing a continuous flow of entertainment. Check out the fish ...

    Popular withOutdoorHistoryLocal
  • 2

    The Princes Islands

    28 reviews

    There are four Princes Islands that you visit by ferry from Istanbul: Kinaliada, Burgazada, Heybeliada and Buyukada. Ferries leave from Karakoy, Kabatas and Kadikoy. The boat ride takes about an hour and a half to the first island and about 15 minutes between islands. In the summertime the ferries can be very crowded so be prepared. The main attraction of ...

    Popular withLocalOutdoorHistory
  • 3

    Golden Horn

    Istanbul, Turkey
    19 reviews

    Where I spend most of my time in Istanbul. From Taksim, Istiklal, Pera District to Besiktas, Kabatas, Ortakoy and Tophane. The Golden Horn is the heart of Modern Istanbul.

    Popular withHistoryOutdoorLocal
  • 4

    Gülhane Parkı

    Hoca Paşa Mh., Nöbethane Caddesi 1, 34112 Istanbul Province/Istanbul, Turkey
    19 reviews

    Istanbul suffers from a paucity of really nice parks. I would say Gulhane and Ulus Park are the nicest. Set along the borders of Topkapi Palace and bounded by the tramway, Gulhane enjoys ample shade from London plane trees. In the spring and summer the park is planted we a great variety of flowers, particularly during the Tulip Festival.

    Popular withOutdoorHistoryBudget
  • 5

    Bosphorus Cruise

    Fatih, Dostluk Yolu Sok. No:10, Istanbul - Europe, Türkiye
    18 reviews

    One of the best pastimes in Istanbul, especially during the warmer seasons, is to take a cruise on the Bosphorus strait. Although there are plenty of vendors offering overpriced tickets, it shouldn’t cost you more than 10-20 Turkish liras. The cruise itself is too long (2 hrs), and lacking a guide, but the encompassing views you gain on the city’s ...

    Popular withOutdoorLocalHistory
  • 6

    Galata Bridge

    Karaköy-Eminönü Verbindung, Istanbul, Turkey
    56 reviews

    John Freely, noted Istanbul authority, referred to Galata Bridge as the true heart of the city. It makes a certain sense. As you look out on the Golden Horn passing beneath your feet, the intersection of the great estuary with the Bosphorus Strait and the Asian shore beyond, it becomes clear that Istanbul's greatness lies in its role as a ...

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  • 7

    Sultanahmet Square

    51 reviews

    Sultanahmet Square is bounded by the Blue Mosque on one end and Hagia Sophia on the other. Between these two landmarks are flower gardens, cobblestone paths and large fountains. This is one of the best places to hear the call to prayer in the city.

    Popular withHistoryLocalOutdoor
  • 8

    Bosphorus Bridge

    Arnavutköy Mh., Beşiktaş/Istanbul, Turkey
    75 reviews

    The Bosphorus Bridge is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world and one of the few that spans two continents. The bridge is suprisingly slender and elegant despits its length. You can see it from much of the city, though the best views are in the Ortakoy neighborhood. During Republic Day they actually shoot fireworks and lazers off ...

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  • 9


    29 reviews

    Bosphorus ferry rides are one of the cheapest and most enjoyable Istanbul experiences. The ferries criss-cross the city, crossing the Bosphorus, heading up the straight or the Golden Horn or going out to the Prince's Islands. At some point on your trip take a ferry to either Kadikoy or Uskudar so that you can visit the Asian side of the ...

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  • 10

    Sehir Hatlari Full Bosphorus Cruise

    Eminonu 3 Iskelesi
    11 reviews

    A boat ride is one of the best ways to take in the city. A cruise all the way up the Bosphorus takes between 90 minutes and two hours. You get a great view of the fashionable neighborhoods of Bebek, Arnavutkoy and Kurucesme with their handsome Ottoman architecture. You will also get to see the Rumeli and Anadolu fortresses as ...

    Popular withOutdoorHistoryBackpackers
  • 11


    Eski Galatasaray Adasi, Kurucesmel, Istanbul
    6 reviews

    In 2008 I was lucky enough to have dinner out on Suada (literally Water Island) when Time Out Magazine took all of us travel writers out for a seafood dinner on them. Suada is located on a barge a few hundred meters offshore in the Bosphorus in the neighborhood of Kurucesme. There's a small ferry that takes you out to ...

    Popular withOutdoorDesignFoodies
  • 12

    Sea of Marmara

    10 reviews

    The Sea of Marmara is a small body of water bound by the Dardanelles and Bosphorus straits. It's almost like a foyer between the Black Sea and Mediterranean. It also marks the southern boundary of Istanbul. At any time of day tankers and cargo carriers can be seen at anchor or making their way into or out of the straits. ...

    Popular withBudgetOutdoorHistory
  • 13


    30 reviews

    This is a place where the word "crowded" is re-defined. Its a must for a tourist to see once for a lifetime but not a place I'd prefer to be every day. Good shopping opportunity here. Not for branded goods but more of traditional turkish style carpets, jewellery, spices etc. Beware for little boys trying to sell you perfumes or ...

    Popular withLocalHistoryOutdoor
  • 14

    Anadolu Kavağı İskelesi

    Anadolu Kavağı Mh., Istanbul, Turkey
    14 reviews

    Anadolu Kavagi is the last stop on the Bosphorus Ferry. As the ferry approaches the village you can see where the Bosphorus widens into the expanse of the Black Sea beyond. Clustered around the ferry terminal are numerous fish restaurants and ice cream shops. The touts can be a bit annoying but lunch or dinner along the waterside is a ...

    Popular withOutdoorBackpackersLocal
  • 15

    The Black Sea

    8 reviews

    At the time I visited the Black Sea, it was towards the end of a tour and my exhausted, 13-year-old self was somewhat unimpressed. "It's the Black Sea!" my dad explained. "It's a body of water," I pointed out. Looking back, I should have been jumping with excitement too. We saw the sea from atop a beautiful, windy cliff, and ...

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  • 16

    Üsküdar, Istanbul

    11 reviews

    Uskudar is one of the largest districts on the Asian Side of Istanbul. Directly across from Beyoglu, you can take a ten minute ferry ride from Kabatas or Besiktas. The Uskudar shoreline is one of the great waterfronts in the city. There are large stone steps on which you can sit and watch the waterfront. Peddlers come along selling simit, ...

    Popular withLocalFamiliesOutdoor
  • 17


    Istanbul, Turkey
    3 reviews

    Bosphorus is а magic place, this is natural canal, which connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara and is natural border between Asia and European part of Istanbul. Bosphorus offers great views from and to the lighted bridges, also amazing night views to the lighted Istanbul and mosques. Mystic, exotic, sense of history, sea water and waves - ...

    Popular withOutdoorLocalHistory
  • 18

    Fish Bazaar

    Mimar Kemalettin Mh., Beyazıt Karakol Sk No:59, İstanbul, Türkiye
    6 reviews

    Located off of Istiklal street in Taksim, this fish bazaar is one of the best in the city. Anything from street muscles to fresh fish, squid and the best Kokoreç sandwiches in Istanbul. Mixed in with the fish is a random assortment of trinkets you can buy for souvenirs. I love to grab a bite to eat here after a ...

    Popular withOutdoorAdventureFoodies
  • 19

    Grand Bazaar

    Cankurtaran Mh, Tevkifhane Sk 1, Istanbul, Turkey
    125 reviews

    I love to shop and I have been to many markets in different countries, but the Grand Bazaar is something else. First of all, it is in this amazingly beautiful and old building. It is like going back in time when you step in it. Secondly, it is surprisingly orderly and clean. I had imagined this place to be disorganized ...

    Popular withLocalHistoryOutdoor
  • 20

    Galata Tower

    Bereketzade Mahallesi, 34420 Istanbul, Turkey
    59 reviews

    Galata Bridge was built by the Genoese during the Middle Ages as a watch tower over the area. The surrounding colony of Galata was independent of Constantinople until it was eventually captured by the Turks. Today it's one of Beyoglu's principle monuments, visible from the Bosphorus and the Asian shores. It also has one of the best views of the ...

    Popular withHistoryLocalOutdoor
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